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In a new paper in PNAS, University of California, Los Angeles researchers describe a new high-powered camera they've built to capture the activity of single cells in high resolution, reports Popular Science's Rebecca Boyle. The camera — which the researchers say is the fastest camera ever built — can count individual cells and process a larger number of images faster and more continuously than existing light microscopes, Boyle adds. It could potentially detect small amounts of cancer cells hiding among healthy cells before any other diagnostic. "Engineers at UCLA mashed up several technologies to build this new camera, which uses a method known as STEAM: serial time-encoded amplified microscopy," she says. "It can take 36.7 million frames per second with a shutter speed of 27 picoseconds. It's sensitive to one part per million in real time, capturing cells moving at 9 mph. It can process 100,000 cells per second."

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.